‘We Don’t Take Orders From Bolton’: US Begins Withdrawing From Syria
The US has “begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” possibly starting with the removal of “10 vehicles and 150 personnel from the Rmelan military base” in northeast Syria.
The Pentagon says U.S. military personnel in Syria are moving ahead with President Trump’s order to pull out of the war-torn country.
The U.S. force in Syria has “begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” said Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. More than 2,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Syria.
In the past 24 hours, U.S. forces have withdrawn 10 vehicles and 150 personnel from the Rmelan military base, one of the first installations the U.S.-led coalition established in Syria in 2014, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Those military vehicles were seen traveling into Iraq; it’s not clear how the reported movements compare to standard rotations of equipment and personnel.
The Defense Department did not directly address that report. “Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” Ryan said.
More from the Wall Street Journal:
Scores of ground troops are headed toward Syria to help move troops out, and a group of naval vessels headed by the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge is headed to the region to back up troops at the vulnerable moment they are leaving the country, the officials said. The Kearsarge carries hundreds of Marines, helicopters and other aircraft.
“Nothing has changed,” one defense official said. “We don’t take orders from Bolton.”
Hopefully Trump continues with this pullout and a conveniently timed “incident” doesn’t prevent our exit.
Neocons are not happy…
Days after NatSecAdv says US Syria exit conditional, the same day the SecState publicly excoriates the 44th president for retreating from Middle East, @realDonaldTrump begins US retreat from the Middle East. This is an administration in disarray. https://t.co/OzB0mlzMIu
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) January 11, 2019
Jim Mattis and Nikki Haley got out just in time. The longer that the administration’s foreign policy officials stay in office, the more foolish they look serving a president who undercuts them at every turn. Case in point: Syria. My latest: https://t.co/PDFtyZyt4l
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 11, 2019
…No matter their “party”…
Troop withdrawal from Syria has already begun, over the objection of our military and despite John Bolton’s statements last week.
The Trump Administration’s foreign policy is as deeply flawed in its conception as it is dangerously incompetent in its execution. https://t.co/x0zGk6MEJw
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 11, 2019
A new Politico-Morning Consult poll showed Republicans are now overwhelmingly in favor of pulling out of Syria and halving our troops in Afghanistan while Democrats are now in favor of continuing both wars.